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Harry 'doesn't like England,' lashes British media

world Updated: Feb 29, 2008 22:57 IST

AFP
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Prince Harry may be returning from the Afghan frontline to a hero's welcome, but he seems far from happy with England, notably life on the media frontline, according to remarks released on Friday.

The Ministry of Defence said the 23-year-old was being pulled out of Afghanistan "immediately" after a US website breached a media blackout on his presence in the violence-scarred southern province of Helmand.

Officials have praised the British media for strictly adhering to the embargo on reporting Harry's deployment, which came after he was unable to go to Iraq last year due to concerns for his security.

But Harry, third in line to the British crown, didn't seem overly happy with his homeland's press, who have given generous coverage in recent years to his partying escapades in the nightclubs of London and elsewhere.

"I don't want to sit around in Windsor," he said, referring to his barracks near a royal residence outside London in a pooled interview in Afghanistan last week, released after the blackout on his whereabouts was broken.

"But I generally don't like England that much and, you know, it's nice to be away from all the press and the papers and all the general shite that they write."

Harry's media image will certainly benefit from his adventures in Afghanistan.

Top-selling daily The Sun described him as "a man of outstanding courage who has risked having his head blown off by the Taliban so he can serve his country with his mates."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described him as an "exemplary soldier (who) is serving with dedication in the finest tradition of our armed forces."